Since March 2015 couples can get married outside a Register Office (in Polish “USC – Urząd Stanu Cywilnego”) but they have to make an additional payment.

Pałac Brunów
Pałac Brunów

The couple can also get married outside a church – the process of getting a permission to get married outside church is quite time consuming though.

Civil wedding

The most important paperwork a couple needs to prepare is a written statement to USC. This document is a statement that you’d like to get married outside USC. The couple also need to make sure they have all the necessary documents to get married (these are same documents that are required if you’re getting married at the USC).

Fees

There also is a standard fee of 1,000 zł (approx. £175) for a civil marriage “under a cloud”, although this can be higher in some cases.

What happens if the register official refuses to come at a requested date/time?

If you’re in such situation, the register official should propose a different day/time. In some cases though (e.g. in Kraków) there are only a few dates designed for outdoor ceremonies.

Church wedding

According to church law, marriage should take place only in the church, on hallowed ground. In this light, casual place, such as a city park or beach, in principle, can not be taken into account. However, it often is possible to compromise, for instance, to hold a wedding in the gardens of the church or parish – at least in the area belongs to a church. One solution may be to use a smaller sacral objects, such as rural chapels. In any case, you need to convince your priest to this idea. Once a place is decided the couple needs to, firstly, ask for permission to get married outside a church a local priest (the priest who is based in a church they would have otherwise got married in). For instance, if you’re to get married in the park that belongs to Pałac Tłokinia you’d need to go to speak to a priest at a church that is located in the same municipality as Pałac Tłokinia (in this case – Opatówek). Such permission might be easy or very difficult to get – it mostly depends on a good will of a priest.

Secondly, the couple needs to prepare request a bishop for a dispensation (permit) for an outdoor wedding. The chance of success is large, but the response time can be very long. It is worth remembering that the request must be duly justified, include convincing arguments. If someone writes to the church authorities, that he dreams of having a unique wedding and does not correspond to his parish church, he’ll probably not receive such permission… The place should also be in the appropriate setting (place on the altar kneelers, chairs, decorations). Outdoor wedding church is therefore a difficult task, but you can not say impossible.

Fees

There is usually no extra payment for having a church ceremony – outside a church. There only payments that need to be done are the ones that are necessary to get married, i.e. Preparing Together fees (usually between 50 – 200 zł), wedding announcements (between 0 – 100zł), wedding licence (between 10 – 150zł), wedding ceremony (usually 1500zł). Altogether: about 2000 zł (£357).

Could anything stop my wedding from happening outdoors?

There are only few reasons why your wedding ceremony wouldn’t happen outdoor:

  • if the venue is not safe,
  • if the register official is not available on the day you requested (civil wedding)
  • if you don’t receive permission from your priest/bishop (church wedding).

Hence, before booking a venue and assuming an outdoor wedding can take place in a location of your choice, call a local Register Office and confirm the location is right (in case of civil ceremonies, a decision on whether a venue is safe or not is made by the USC); arrange all the required documentation and provide them to your priest and bishop (church ceremony).

 

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